‘Stay on it,’ Verstappen tells Leclerc after Baku heartbreak | Race News



BAKU: Max Verstappen spared no sympathy for Charles Leclerc after the Dutchman took advantage of a late-race engine failure for his Formula 1 rival Ferrari to claim an undisputed victory in Azerbaijan on Sunday.
“I would say shit happens, it’s racing, you know?” Verstappen, who was saddened to lose his mind in Baku last year, told reporters.
“It’s happened to me, it’s happened to a lot of people in the past and unfortunately it’s happening to Charles.
“If I was in the same situation I would also be disappointed, I think it’s very normal, but it’s how you get on that counts.”
Verstappen’s win on Sunday, his fifth in eight races this season, gave him a sizable lead in the overall standings.
He is now 21 points clear of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who completed a brace behind Verstappen on Sunday, with Leclerc 34 points behind having dropped to third place.
The 24-year-old, who entered the weekend nine points behind Verstappen, has failed to convert top spot into victory in the last four races in a row for reasons ranging from unreliability to strategic missteps.
Sunday’s failure was the second time in three races that Leclerc gave up the lead.
It came shortly after teammate Carlos Sainz also came to a halt with a hydraulic failure, resulting in a double retirement for Ferrari.
Verstappen himself has been sidelined twice by reliability issues this year and trailed Leclerc by 46 points after the first three races of the season.
“You learn from it, you don’t like it, you get angry, but you turn it around,” he said.
“You always have to stay on it because something else could happen and you have to stop those issues from happening.”


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